3 ways to disable Steam Auto Updates for good

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming from a solid background in PC... Read more
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  • It seems that every time you start up Steam, updates are popping up, and some users are interested in discovering how to disable Steam Auto Updates for good.
  • The first solution we recommend is changing the update schedule from the app's options.
  • Keep in mind that you can also stop the Auto-update on a single game you want.
  • If Steam keeps showing Auto Updates, you should disable Steam's startup process.
Disable Steam Auto Updates for good [Quick Guide]

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Are you looking for the best ways to disable Steam Auto Updates for good? Make sure you read this guide completely because it was made especially for you.

Auto updates, in general, can be easily turned on or off in any app. However, that’s not the case with Steam auto-updates because there is no option to fully stop the updates.

By default, Steam auto-updates the games in the background whenever there is a network connection available. In this way, the games are always up to date and the user doesn’t have to worry about that.

But if the Auto-update process begins in the background while you do some intense network task, then that’s a problem. Things will slow down significantly.

That’s especially true for users with limited connections. In this matter, we also suggest taking a look at the best bandwidth limiter tools for Windows 10/11.

Why would I want to disable Steam Auto Updates?

In most cases, automatic updates are an extremely efficient feature any user should use. As a general rule, we recommend always trying to keep your apps up to date.

However, some of the most common reasons why users want to disable Steam Auto Updates, is that it can save on space and data usage.

Now, let’s discover what can you do to turn off this option in less than a few minutes.

How can I disable Steam Auto Updates?

1. Change the update schedule

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Steam, then open the first result.
  2. From the upper-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Now, navigate to Settings.
  4. In the left side-panel click on the Downloads tab.
  5. From the right section, under Download Restrictions, check the Only auto-update games between option.
  6. Now, insert a time frame that fits your needs the best.
  7. Click on OK to save the changes.

To avoid future problems with updates, you can set certain update schedules outside your working hours. A good time will be late at night when you don’t use your Windows 10 PC for anything.

We have to mention that this solution applies to future updates only. If a game is already scheduled with an update, then you won’t be able to play it until you’ll update it.

Additionally, you can also limit the bandwidth for downloading updates just in the case sometimes the background update is running while you use your Windows 10 computer.

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To do that, just follow the steps above, and right next to Download Restrictions you will see a Limit bandwidth to the drop-down menu. Choose the lowest amount possible (usually 16kb/s).

2. Stop the Auto update on a single game

  1. Press on the Windows key, type Steam, then open the app.
  2. Go to Library.
  3. Right-click a certain game that you’re interested in and select Proprieties.
  4. A new window will appear. There, click on Updates tab.
  5. Under the Automatic updates click the drop-down menu
  6. Now you have 3 options: Always keep this game up-to date, Only update this game when I launch it, High Priority: Always auto-update this game before others. Select the Only update this game when I launch it option.
  7. Remember to disable your Internet connection every time before starting the respective game.

This solution allows you to stop all auto-updates on a single game. It has been confirmed by many users and it is very effective.

If your internet connection is disabled, Steam won’t be able to connect to the servers and the auto-update process won’t start. You will be able to play the game without any interruptions.

Although the solution works like a charm, it will be a bit tedious if you have a lot of games in the Library.

3. Disable Steam’s startup process

  1. Hit the Windows key, type Stream, then open it.
  2. From the upper-left corner of the window, click on Steam.
  3. Navigate to Settings.
  4. In the left side-panel, choose Interface.
  5. Uncheck Run Steam when my computer starts.
  6. Look in the bottom of the Interface window, then click on OK.

By default, Steam processes start in the background when the Windows 10 PC starts. In this way, Steam is making sure that the auto-update runs all the time in the background and keeps your games up-to-date.

Now, Steam won’t automatically open when you start Windows 10 and the update process will only take place when you decide to open the app or a Steam game.

4. Disable automatic updates for the Steam Client

Method 1: Add start attributes to the Steam shortcut

  1. Right-click on your Steam desktop icon, then select Properties.
  2. Go to the Target field.
  3. Add the following startup arguments after then path:
    • -noverifyfiles -nobootstrapupdate -skipinitialbootstrap -norepairfiles -overridepackageurl

Method 2: Block the Steam client from updating

  1. Use the Windows key on your keyboard, then search for Notepad, and open it.
  2. Write down the following line: BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable
  3. Save the file in the Steam installation folder as Steam.cfg.

Whilst there are ways of prohibiting the Steam client from updating, you should know that this is highly discouraged, as Valve is updating the security and stability of the client constantly. By not updating your client to the latest version you are putting yourself at risk.

However, this might be something you need to do temporarily, for instance, if you are downloading a huge game and your download will take several days, you can’t shut down your system as the downloaded files will be lost.

Hibernation will keep the current state of your system and your download will resume.

That being said, there are better ways of going about downloading large games, such as speeding up your Steam download speeds.

What’s your all-time favorite Steam game? Leave the answer in the comments section below along with any other questions you may have.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can stop the Steam client from updating by using Hibernation or inhibiting the update service with startup commands. You can also create a config file that stops the update service.

  • As mentioned in our guide, you can turn off the auto-start from the Steam client settings, or by blocking Steam via Task Manager.

    1. Right-click on the game from your Steam library
    2. Go to Properties > Updates
    3. Click on the Automatic Updates dropdown menu
    4. Select Only Update this game when I launch it

    This method will work with any game installed through the Steam client.

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